"Gastronomy is the art of using food to create happiness” - Theodore Zeldin
So much happiness!
Who doesn’t love French food?
France is a nation of fine dining and many national dishes. There’s beef bourguignon, roast chicken, snails, crepes and the famed quiche lorraine. In short, they love their food!
A quiche is essentially an omelette or frittata in some pie dough. However, once finished, it's so much greater than the sum of its parts.
So how can you make a quiche lorraine? Can you make changes to the recipe?
Here’s how you can make one of France’s most popular dishes.
Making the Pastry for a Quiche Lorraine
The quiche lorraine is an almost essential part of learning how to cook whether you’re French or not. Even if you’re not a great chef, this bacon and cheese quiche recipe is a great place to start.
Any good quiche lorraine starts by making the pastry. However, you’ll soon see you can even alter that!
Traditionally, a quiche lorraine is made using shortcrust pastry though some opt for a puff pastry as it’s lighter.
When you can, you should make some homemade pastry. If you don’t have time, though, you can always by readymade pastry.
So how can you make homemade shortcrust pastry?
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- 250g of flour
- 125g of butter
- A pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
Use a mixing bowl or large salad bowl.
Place the flour and add the butter. You should soften the butter before adding it to the flour. Add a pinch of salt and mix it.
Once you’ve finished mixing this, make a well in the middle of the mix and add the egg yolk. Keep kneading the dough and slowly add water to ensure that it doesn’t crumble or dry out.
Make the dough into a ball and leave it in the fridge for half an hour. You could also use a rolling pin (or glass bottle if you don’t have one) to roll out the dough into a quiche shape.
If you’ve made too much dough, you can always cover it and put it in the freezer.
You’ll also save time by making extra as you can use it for your next quiche as you’ll not need to start from scratch.
Find out more about some other easy recipes.
The Traditional Recipe for a Quiche Lorraine
Once you’ve made your shortcrust pastry, you then need to work on the filling. To make a traditional quiche lorraine, you’ll need:
- Shortcrust pastry
- 250ml of creme fraiche
- 200ml of whole milk
- 5 eggs or 4 entire eggs and 2 egg yolks
- 250g of lardons
- Ground pepper and nutmeg
Firstly, work on your shortcrust pastry Get your pie plate or pie pan ready (you can butter it and add the flour to stop the dough from sticking), spread out the dough, and prick it with a fork. Make holes across the whole base.
Preheat your oven to 200°C and bake the base for 10 minutes.
Tip: the dough will often soften in the oven. The edges sometimes fall onto the base and ruin its shape. To avoid this, you can use baking beads. If you do this, add some baking paper and place the beads on top of it. This will stop the edges from falling. Don’t forget to take the dough out of the over after 10 minutes.
Break 5 eggs into a salad bowl or mixing bowl. If you prefer, you can use 4 eggs and 2 egg yolks. Egg yolks ensure that the pastry rises and stops the whole thing coming back down once it cools.
Once you’ve beaten the eggs, add the creme fraiche and mix everything until you have a smooth mix.
Now it’s time to season. You can add salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Be careful with the salt as the lardons are already quite salty. Keep this in mind when adding the salt. You don’t want the whole thing to be unbearably salty.
The same is true for the pepper. If you’re heavyhanded with the pepper, it’ll be the only thing you’ll taste in your quiche. Now your filling is almost ready.
You just need to put the lardons onto the base. You can cook the lardons before putting them in the quiche. It’s a matter of taste.
Pour the mix onto the lardons ensuring that it’s even across the whole base. You just need to then cook the whole thing for half an hour at 180°C.
All that's left is to eat your quiche lorraine. It goes great with a salad and vinaigrette. Bon appétit!
How Can You Make a Quiche Lorraine without Eggs?
If you can’t eat eggs or don’t have any in the house, here’s how you can make a quiche lorraine without them.
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Ingredients for 4 people:
- Shortcrust pastry
- 300g of cream cheese
- 250ml of thick creme fraiche
- 100g of lardons
- 80g of cooked ham
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 100g of grated cheese
Cook the lardons and mix the cream cheese, creme fraiche, grated cheese, and flour in a mixing bowl. Add the lardons and ham to the mix and pour it over the pre-cooked shortcrust pastry just like with the other quiche. You just need to now bake it all for half an hour. This recipe is almost as good as the original.
A Pastry-Free Quiche Lorraine
The pastry-free quiche lorraine is even more impressive than the egg-free version. If you’re not a fan of the crust, this is a great option. You just need to pour your mix into a dish without the pastry in it.
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 100g of cooked ham
- 200g of lardons
- 4 eggs
- 250ml of milk
- 1 small tub of creme fraiche
- 100g of flour
- Salt and pepper
You’ll notice that you’ll still need flour, even though you’re not making the pastry. To make a quiche lorraine without pastry, mix everything in a mixing bowl. Pour the flour in last to avoid lumps. Butter the dish and slowly pour the mixture in. Cook it at 180°C for 30 minutes.
In a rush?
Consider making yourself a Croque monsieur!
The Vegan Quiche Lorraine
There are many different types of quiche lorraine depending on your tastes or diet so here’s a vegan alternative.
Ingredients for 4 people:
- Vegan shortcrust pastry
- 200g of smoked tofu
- 400ml of soy cream
- 2 tablespoons of malted yeast
- Salt and pepper.
Roll out your vegetable pastry (you can find them in specialist shops, for example) and place it in the bottom of a tin. Pierce the bottom with a fork. Then, cut the tofu into small cubes. Place it on the base of your quiche just like you would with the lardons.
Mix the cornstarch, yeast, and the salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Bit by bit, pour in the soy cream and mix. Once the mix is smooth, pour it onto the pastry and tofu. Cook it for 45 minutes at 180°C.
Now your vegan quiche lorraine is ready!
Not fancy a quiche?
Find out how to make your own pizzas.
Other Types of Quiche Lorraine
You can add onion, grated Emmental, goat’s cheese, and even make a quiche lorraine with chicken. Anything is possible when it comes to cooking!
After all, the quiche lorraine is a basic recipe. Over time, many recipes have come along to change things up. There are as many quiches as there are chefs and each has their own way of doing it.
You could make use of what you’ve got in the house and make something original. Vegetables, meat, fish, let your imagination run wild.
You just need to start with a shortcrust pastry (or puff pastry, if you prefer), mix your ingredients with creme fraiche, eggs (or not), and milk, and you’re done!
Whether you're making a cheese quiche, bacon quiche, spinach quiche, or broccoli quiche, using a store-bought pastry or a pie crust to save time or making it all from scratch, finding a good quiche recipe and learning to cook isn't difficult!
Get to your ovens!
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